Josephson Junction Materials Research Using Phase Qubits
Raymond W. Simmonds, Dustin P. Hite, Robert McDermott, Matthias Steffen, Ken B. Cooper, Kristine Lang, John M. Martinis, David P. Pappas
At present, the performance of superconducting qubits is limited by decoherence. Strong decoherence of phase qubits is associated with spurious microwave resonators residing within the Josephson junction tunnel barrier . In this work, we investigate three different fabrication techniques for producing tunnel junctions, varying the properties of the superconductor-insulator interface, and through experimental measurements, we characterize the junction and corresponding qubit quality. We find that there is a strong correlation between the morphology of oxidized base electrodes and the lowering of subgap currents in the junction I-V characteristics, while there is no noticeable improvement in the performance of fabricated phase qubits. Thus, 'traditional' indicators of junction performance may not be enough to determine qubit performance. However, truly crystalline insulating barriers may be the key to improving Josephson junction based qubits.